Copyright 2011 Peggy Webb
Cover design copyright 2011 Kim Van Meter
Copyright 1989 by Peggy Webb
All rights reserved
He missed the noise. He missed the hustle and bustle. He even missed the smog. Jim Roman had landed in Greenville, Mississippi, exactly forty-five minutes earlier, and already he felt the need to be back in San Francisco. He was like an addict, he thought. The big city gave him his fix.
It was only May, but it was hot as hell. He flipped a switch on the dashboard of the car, the one that said air-conditioning, but wasn’t surprised that nothing happened. When he rolled the window down, he could hear the ominous clinking and clanging that indicated his rented car probably wouldn’t make it over the next hill, let alone to the Donovan spread.
Swearing and sweating, he nursed the car along. Three miles down the road, it shuddered and drew its last breath. He got out and lifted the hood, although he didn’t have high hopes of repairing anything. He’d never been good at mechanics.
He jiggled a few wires that looked loose and gave the battery cable a smart tap with a rock he’d picked up from the road. Nothing happened except that he got grease on his hands. He surveyed his surroundings. There was nothing but green pasture as far as the eye could see. It was great country if you were a cow, but he had his heart set on finding a telephone. At that moment he’d be willing to bet that nobody for miles had ever heard of Alexander Graham Bell. He’d often read of the backside of nowhere, and now he was there.